Going into October, it looked like this would be the last November on Mountain Time instead of Alberta Standard Time. A private member’s bill by Thomas Dang of the Alberta NDP government proposed Alberta stopped following the time change. Although most of North America still uses Daylight Savings Time, Saskatchewan does not, and the bill motioned that Alberta remained in sync with our eastern neighbour. If it had passed, the bill would have taken effect November 2018 and put an end to our twice a year clock change. While a majority of Albertans appeared to be receptive to the idea and many Albertan farmers and ranchers couldn’t help but agree, the bill was defeated in a vote of 46-6.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Alberta farmers were in favour of Bill 203. Many Albertan farmers and ranchers fought against Daylight Savings Time in the first place. At the time, farmers cited that workers would want to operate on town hours. Daylight Savings Time would mean the farmers would have to wait an extra hour to start work during the morning, and worse, their workers wouldn’t want to stay longer into the evening, so they would be leaving before the sun even set.
Today, those in the poultry and dairy industries are some of the leading voices for doing away with time change. Both the poultry and dairy industry follow rigorous schedules, and the hour change can disrupt the animals as well as the ranchers who have to get out of bed an hour earlier. Those in favour of time change argue that animals can’t tell time anyways, and it’s the farmers who don’t enjoy the groggy morning, but even your typical dog owner can tell you that their animal knows exactly when it’s supposed to be fed and walked.
As for the question of whether Alberta should or shouldn’t scrap Daylight Savings Time, we’d like to pass the discussion onto you. Are you happy the bill was defeated? Do you enjoy the extra hour of sunshine during the summer? Or does the personal inconvenience of changing time outweigh the benefit? Do you find that the time change negatively affects your cattle or poultry? Share your feelings on our Facebook page and remind your MLA to take Alberta’s farmers and ranchers into consideration for all their decisions!